The term “hospice care” traces its history back to the hospitality offered in medieval times when it referred to providing shelter and rest for weary or ill travelers. Now of course it refers to a specific method of end-of-life care.
The modern meaning of the term “hospice” was first formally applied by physician Dame Cicely Saunders. Saunders worked with the terminally ill and ultimately created the first modern hospice in a residential suburb of London. She later introduced the idea to the United States during a 1963 Yale University visit and lecture about the concept of holistic care.
Her lecture included photographs showing before and after effects of symptom control care with terminally ill cancer patients and their families. A detailed history can be found at the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization’s website by clicking here.
Why Choose Hospice Care?
Most of us do not want to die in a hospital and prefer to die in our homes; however, a high percentage of Americans end up spending their last few days or weeks under expensive and impersonal high-tech hospital care. Consider these observations by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross:
“We live in a very particular death-denying society. We isolate both the dying and the old, and it serves a purpose. They are reminders of our own mortality. We should not institutionalize people. We can give families more help with home care and visiting nurses, giving the families and the patients the spiritual, emotional, and financial help in order to facilitate the final care at home.”
What Resources Are Available For Discussing & Planning End-of-Life Care?
To have options, we need to discuss our preferences for end-of-life care with loved ones and those who have agreed to be our health care surrogates. For more information about end-of-life issues such as Planning Ahead, Caring for Someone, Living with Illness and LIVE without Pain, visit NHPCO’s Caring Connection at caringinfo.org.
Decisions about end-of-life care should be based on one’s values and beliefs and should reflect what is important to the person who is dying as well as all who will be involved during that process. These conversations help relieve family, friends, and healthcare providers of the burden of guessing what you would want. If hospice is an option, a resource to help in choosing a quality hospice can be found here.
Next week’s blog post will discuss Collier County’s very own Avow Hospice, from a volunteer’s perspective, and much more.
About Oakstone Law, PL
Oakstone Law PL was founded by Bob Kleinknecht. A member of the Florida Family Trust Company Subcommittee, the Estate Tax & Trust Planning (ETTP) Committee and the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law (RPPTL) Section of the Florida Bar, Kleinknecht has 15 years’ experience.
Prior to founding Oakstone law, he spent more than eight years serving as a personal, in-house estate, tax and charitable planning attorney for a Forbes 400 family in New York and Florida. Before that he was an estate planning and estate settlement attorney with prominent firms in Boston and Washington, D.C. after beginning his career with a boutique firm in Naples, Florida.
Licensed in Florida and Massachusetts, Kleinknecht has developed a practice model that eliminates billing by the hour and offers a streamlined, customized client process supported by technology, security and a personal approach.
For more information on Oakstone Law, click here. To get in touch with us, click here to send us an email, or call 239-206-3454. Our office is located at 5137 Castello Drive, Suite 2 in Naples, Florida 34103.